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Results are in for the 38th Annual Tioga Pass Run

September 15th, 2018 by Nigel, Birding Intern

Last Sunday, September 9, athletes from near and far joined us in the Eastern Sierra for the 38th Annual Tioga Pass Run.

Runners make their way up the Tioga Road just past the midpoint of the race. Photo by Dick Erb.

Starting outside the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining, the grueling but beautiful 12.4-mile course follows the Tioga Road up Lee Vining Canyon to the eastern gate of Yosemite National Park, topping out at 9,943 feet above sea level. A total of 148 runners and walkers completed the race this year, a new record!

This year’s overall winner, finishing in a time of 1:40:16, was … more »

Fall colors season begins soon

September 13th, 2018 by Max, Mono Lake Intern

It’s that time of year again! Yes, we are already halfway through September and the first official day of fall is just around the corner. As we welcome the cooler mornings, migrating Eared Grebes, and the occasional high-elevation snow flurry, we can also look forward to the much-anticipated fall colors. If fires or a busy schedule kept you from visiting Mono Basin this summer, don’t fret! You still have an opportunity to catch a glimpse of what helps make the basin so spectacular—the changing hues of vibrant aspen trees.

So far there were only a few spots of fall color high up in Lundy Canyon on Monday, September 10. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Fall colors haven’t quite started to display in the Mono Basin quite yet, but within the next week we can expect to see some hints of yellow or orange streaks, especially at the higher elevations. Mid-September to mid-October is generally … more »

There’s still time to send in your 2018 Free Drawing tickets!

September 12th, 2018 by Andrew, Digital Engagement Coordinator

If you haven’t yet entered the Mono Lake Committee’s 2018 Free Drawing fundraiser, there is still time. Send in your tickets by September 30 to be eligible for the early-bird prize—an iPad mini 4.

If you’re planning a trip to the Mono Basin this fall, be sure to stop by the Information Center & Bookstore and fill out a few tickets for the Free Drawing!

You’ll also be entered to win one of 26 other fabulous prizes including fun-filled vacations and relaxing retreats in the Mono Basin, San Francisco, Mammoth Lakes, Hope Valley, Benton Hot Springs, Yosemite, and more! Be sure to take a look at the complete prize list to see everything we are offering this year.

If you are already a member of the Mono Lake Committee, you … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems with Connie Millar

September 9th, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist

Join us on Wednesday, September 12 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation. Connie Millar, US Forest Service Senior Research Ecologist, will be here to discuss the effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems. If you can join us, register here for this free program!

A pika near Virginia Lakes. Connie will be discussing her research on pikas, which are particularly vulnerable to rising temperatures. Photo courtesy of Ken Hickman.

Connie will provide an overview of her research into the responses of mountain ecosystems—in particular, pines and pikas—to changing climates. With information on how species responded to … more »

Free guided tours at Mono Lake: Fall schedule

September 8th, 2018 by Max, Mono Lake Intern

The seasons are starting to shift and with that comes a shift in the Mono Basin interpretative tour schedule. Join a naturalist for a free guided South Tufa tour or a Stars Over Mono talk this fall—both are great ways to experience the Mono Basin from a new perspective and learn something new, no matter if you’re a new visitor or you return every year.

Join us at South Tufa on Monday nights this fall for the free Stars Over Mono program. Photo courtesy of Gowrishankar Lakshminarayanan.

This fall, South Tufa tours will be offered to visitors on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00pm and will begin at the South Tufa kiosk. These tours will be led by a naturalist from the … more »

Mono Lake Committee initiates study of Mono Basin glaciers

September 7th, 2018 by Mono Lake Committee Staff

Jace Shuler, a junior math major at Boston College, started a study of Mono Basin glaciers when he worked at the Mono Lake Committee this summer. This post was written by Jace.

When I tell people that I spent the summer studying and mapping the glaciers in the Mono Basin, the question I always seem to get is, “There are glaciers around Mono Lake?” The short answer is, yes, there are, and they are of great interest to the Mono Lake Committee.

The first step of my project with the Committee was to identify what exists in the area, both in terms of glaciers and data about those glaciers. From there … more »

Lee Vining Creek Trail repair work begins this month

September 5th, 2018 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician

Ever since record high streamflows washed out a section of the Lee Vining Creek Trail in June 2017, the Mono Lake Committee has been working with several agencies and organizations to create a plan to fix the trail. We’re excited to announce that the trail repair work will begin this month!

Mammoth Lakes Trails Coordinator Joel Rathje and his crew check out the hillside where the rerouted portion of the Lee Vining Creek Trail will go. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

The trail will not be closed as the repair work takes place, but hikers may see trail crews and signs about the work happening. The trail damage was in a section of … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Insects & conservation with Kristie Nelson

September 2nd, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist

Join us on Wednesday, September 5 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists presentation. Kristie Nelson, Lead Scientist for Point Blue Conservation Science, will be here to discuss insects and their ability to conserve the planet.

A wasp and a Sierra Blue butterfly pollinating. Photo courtesy of Kristie Nelson.

Insects comprise over 80% of Earth’s organisms, yet relatively few people pay attention to them, and declining populations or localized extinctions risk not being noticed. For example … more »

Fall hours at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore

September 1st, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist

September has crept up on us again! Interns are migrating from Lee Vining back to school while the days become shorter and markedly more chilly.

With that comes a change in store hours at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore. Starting on Tuesday, September 4 we’ll be open from 9:00am to 7:00pm. Not to worry—as always, we’re open seven days a week.

A couple of interns and seasonal staff remain, eager to answer your questions, play the Mono Lake Story movie in our gallery and help you make your purchases. Please stop by if you are passing through Lee Vining—we’d love to see you!

The story of the Pioneer Solar Pavilion

August 29th, 2018 by Janet, Volunteer Coordinator

“Once upon a time, in a little mountain town on the edge of a big blue lake, a small group of people wanted to do something. They noticed that winter snows were less deep, and summer days were drier and hotter with forest fire smoke in the air. The group wanted to protect their beautiful lake, which depended on the snow to stay healthy.

“So the group decided to build a beautiful pavilion with a roof of solar panels, based on an idea from a town across the sea, to showcase how it is possible to have clean energy. It was a wonderful plan, but there was no money or knowledge to build something so grand.”

This is the beginning of the story of the Pioneer Solar Pavilion that was dedicated on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at Hess Park in Lee Vining.

Lee Vining’s Pioneer Solar Pavilion is a community-built gathering space that provides shade, electricity, wi-fi, shelter from wind, and information about local pioneer families. Photo by Elin Ljung.

The rest of the story is this: … more »

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